Source: Marshawn Lynch visits Raiders facility

Source: Marshawn Lynch visits Raiders facility

Marshawn Lynch spent his Wednesday visiting the Raiders facility as he considers a return to the NFL, a league source said.

Former NFL punter Pat McAfee of Barstool Sports first reported the news.

The visit marked an important first step in a possible union between Lynch and his hometown team.

What happened in that meeting pushed a long process further down the line. Lynch told the Raiders he plans to return to professional football, NFL Network reported later Wednesday afternoon.

The proud Oakland native retired after the 2015 season, and the Seattle Seahawks still hold his rights. Lynch still has two years left on a contract extension originally signed before the 2015 season.

The Seahawks green-lighted Lynch’s visit to the Raiders facility, though are several steps remaining before Lynch becomes a Raiders employee. 

Seattle would likely want to trade Lynch’s rights, though sources have said the Raiders are loathe to give up draft picks. The Seahawks don’t appear to have room for his $9 million salary under their current budget, meaning they could simply release him outright if the Raiders balk at a trade.

Either way, Seattle isn't expected to be an obstacle in Lynch coming to Oakland. Seahawks general manager John Schneider told ESPN Radio 710 in Seattle that Lynch wants to return and that transferring Lynch's rights to the Raiders would be easy given his strong relationship with Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. Schneider and McKenzie worked together in Green Bay. 

"Marshawn is trying to figure things out. The Raiders are trying to figure things out," Schneider said. "My understanding is that, if he did want to come play, it would be for the Raiders, that’s it."

Even in the off chance a trade occurs, Lynch would have to re-negotiate his deal in Oakland.

The Raiders certainly need a bruising back like Lynch, but must feel confident he’s a solid fit in the organization. NFL Network reported Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio's opinion is key to this process. His meeting with Del Rio and other coaches went well, sources say, a vital step in bringing Lynch to Oakland. Lynch is certainly an on-field fit, even at 30 years old. He is a powerful, yet versatile back who would be an excellent scheme fit, especially running behind the Raiders’ hulking offensive line.

Landing Lynch would be a huge coup from a business perspective, especially after the Raiders were approved for relocation to Las Vegas last week. The Silver and Black plan to play in the Bay Area the next two, possibly three, seasons and Lynch would be a huge draw for Oakland Raiders fans. He champions his hometown whenever possible and is active in the community.

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

The Raiders locked up Derek Carr last week, signing their franchise quarterback to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

He isn’t the only member of the 2014 draft class worthy of a raise. Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a big one, likely at some point next offseason. The Raiders have some time with Mack after exercising a fifth-year contract option available for first-round picks.

General manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have that luxury with Carr, and his 2014 second-round pick cashed in before formally entering a contract year.

Right guard Gabe Jackson could do the exact same thing. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward homegrown talent, and the 2014 third-round pick should be next in line to do so.

McKenzie has said back in March that he’d like to extend Jackson’s contract, though there isn’t a deadline to do so.

“There’s no timetable,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “But, I alluded to earlier in the offseason that Gabe is one of the guys I want to get locked up.”

That could happen later this offseason, or further into training camp. Despite paying Carr an NFL-record $25 million in 2017, his contract is structured in such a way that there’s room for another offseason extension. That was important for Carr, that the Raiders can sign other members of this young core.

“We figured out a way to do it,” Carr said, “so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization.”

The Raiders have roughly $18 million in salary cap space after the Carr deal. Some of that is earmarked for the team’s top three draft picks, which remain unsigned to this point. A large sum could go to Jackson as incentive to sign up early, well before he’s eligible to hit the unrestricted free agency.

The offensive guard market is booming, with bigger deals going to a position group generally lower than other spots on the offensive line. The Raiders contributed to that inflation in 2016, signing left guard Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5 deal with $25.4 million in guarantees.

Osemele is one of eight guards with contracts worth $40 million or more, a list that includes two right guards. Jackson played left guard – the more valued position – until Osemele showed up. He moved to the right without complaint.

Jackson thrived there as well. He didn’t allow a sack in 2016, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus, with 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. Jackson has been a strong run blocker as a pro, where he has started 44 games in three NFL seasons.

Finding proper value to entice Jackson to sign while remaining on budget is McKenzie’s next task, trying to keep a valuable offensive lineman in place for years to come.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.

Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.

“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”

That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”

That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.

There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.

After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.

“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.

“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”

He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.

“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”